James Tauber : Recreational Programming

James Saiz

journeyman of some

Recreational Programming

In his post Recreational Programming, Sam Ruby says:

For recreation, some people like to do NY Times crosswords puzzles in ink. Me, I like tackling small, incremental, computer programming tasks.

I can totally relate to that, as I'm sure many readers of this blog can. But it was Sam's title that really caught my eye. Recreational Programming is the term my significant other and I use to describe my various open source tinkerings.

I think we came up with the term after a conversation something like this many years ago when we'd only just started going out and she had no idea what she was in for...

HB: What are you doing?
Me: Programming.
HB: Late on a Saturday night? Is work really busy?
Me: No, it's not work.
HB: So why are you doing it?
Me: It's fun and it's relaxing.
HB: You find programming fun and relaxing?
Me: Yes. It's a form of recreation for me.

After that, the term recreational programming stuck. HB gets why I do it if I use that term.

So now conversations are more like:

HB: What did you do last night?
Me: Recreational programming.
HB: Cool!

rather than:

HB: What did you do last night?
Me: Tried implementing the Unicode Collation Algorithm in Python.
HB: You're strange.

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Comments (1)

Tim on Sunday 12 March, 2006:

I think the prime example of what you are talking about is that while ordinary ppl might relax doing Sudoku puzzles, geeks relax writing Sudoku solvers.

Non-geek: What are you doing?
Geek: Writing a sudoku solver.
Non-geek: Why would you want to do that?
Geek: *sigh*

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This page last modified Sunday 12 March, 2006 by James Saiz
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